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Although the turbine and solar panels will provide only about 5 percent of the energy UTB TSC and the ITEC Center use annually, their main value will be as a learning tools for students in TSC's renewable energy programs that comprise the Texas Southmost Renewable Energy Center.
"They were working on a solar and wind project for the ITEC Center, but also thinking about some of the potential education programs that could come about from the maintenance of this system," Mendez said. "That's why the grant was submitted: In order to have the equipment to teach the maintenance and upkeep of this system we'll have."
Besides producing some electricity and giving students hands on experience with solar and wind technology, the goal of the project is also to "pave the way for increased awareness about renewable energy technologies; launch efforts for additional research and help to accelerate progress toward the development of other systems of this kind in the area," according to the grant application.
grant to actually develop curriculum for the center's renewable energy programs came from the Texas Workforce Commission.
John Sossi, director of the International Innovation Center, which is under the Economic Development and Community Services Office, said the total cost of the wind turbine, solar panels and related equipment is a little more than $815,000.
The turbine and solar panels are being paid for through a $1.5 million grant from the State Energy Conservation Office. The grant application was submitted by the UTB TSC Office of the Vice President for Economic Development and Community Services, which also manages the grant, though it was TSC's initiative.
million will go for installation, engineering and design, spare parts, certifications and other contingencies, he said. Operation of the turbine, which will be located prominently on the ITEC Center grounds, will be automatically monitored online.
"We're been trying to submit more grants but they just haven't been available for this Fendi Handbags Photos type of project," she said. "Of course we're interested in more installations when (grants) become available."
installation begins on renewable energy systems
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"We have designed the installation where a group of students can go up there safely," said Veronica Mendez of the facilities and planning office of the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College.
"There will be pathways where they can see the installation," she said.
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Whether it's truly a sign of things to come to UTB TSC depends on future grants, Mendez said, adding that right now funding is scarce.
"We actually think it'll be more of a status symbol than anything else," Sossi said of the wind generator.
Wind and solar energy is coming to UTB TSC in the form of more than 600 solar photovoltaic panels installed recently on the roof of the REK Center on campus and a 120 foot tall wind turbine generator to be erected on the grounds of the ITEC Center on Mexico Boulevard.
Originally, the solar panels were to be installed on the roof of the ITEC building, formerly Amigoland Mall, until an engineering study concluded it might not bear the weight. So the panels were placed atop the newer REK Center. Both facilities are owned by TSC.
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